The increased take-up has seen eRx Script Exchange achieve the milestone of 20 million electronic prescriptions since Australia launched national electronic prescriptions fifteen months ago. More than 28,000 doctors prescribed 10.5 million of those, while 98% of the nation’s pharmacies produced 9.5 million repeats.
The rate of usage has increased as patients and health practitioners have been affected by recurring lockdowns, with the four months from June to September 2021 seeing:
Electronic prescriptions have been vital in providing patients and health professionals with additional flexibility during COVID-19, including the ability for patients to obtain their medicines without attending a clinic or pharmacy (where delivery is available). Electronic prescriptions have enabled patients in isolation or quarantine to maintain uninterrupted medication supply.
Paul Naismith, pharmacist and CEO of Fred IT, says that electronic prescriptions have been central in enabling pharmacies and patients to adapt to the challenges of lockdown.
"Although we have seen widespread changes in pharmacy practice since the beginning of COVID-19, pharmacies have had to keep adapting to the Delta variant. Electronic prescriptions have played a key role in helping pharmacies manage practical issues around lockdown and social distancing, including reducing the potential time that patients are waiting in-store and reducing the number of people in-store at any one time."
According to Paul, lockdowns have seen patients also increasingly turning to pre-ordering of electronic prescriptions.
"Patients have become more digitally capable during COVID-19 and this is driving rapid change in how they connect with pharmacies. In the past week, 14,000 patients pre-ordered electronic scripts through the MedView Flow network, which means they ordered from home or elsewhere before coming in to collect their medicine. The vast majority of these thousands of pre-ordered prescriptions are click and collect, although delivery services are growing."
Whilst pre-ordering prescriptions has always been possible, the removal of the need for the paper script follow-up has substantially streamlined the process for patients and pharmacies. Where pharmacies are using MedView Flow, electronic script orders are also submitted directly into the pharmacy queue, which further increases efficiencies.
The new “How can I get this prescription dispensed?” button on eRx digital tokens (image below) offers an increasing selection of apps and services. The MedView Flow network of 2600 participating pharmacies are receiving prescription orders directly into the dispensary from the following patient driven services:
For further information and resources for your pharmacy see ePrescriptions
eRx Script Exchange today released data on the number of scripts processed during the 2016 Melbourne Cup, showing more than a 50% drop in script traffic compared with a standard Tuesday afternoon.
Between 3:00pm and 3.10, when the Cup ran, the total number of scripts prescribed and dispensed across the country dropped by 50%, from a peak of 4,569 per minute to a low of 2,584 per minute during the race.
Compared with the week prior to Cup Day, Cup Day saw a 44%-52% drop in total traffic sent to the exchange in the ten minutes from 3.00-3.10 pm.
With Pharmacy approaching its two busiest months of the year for prescriptions, the number of doctors and pharmacies using eRx continues to grow.
In preparation, eRx recently carried out network improvements to ensure that the speed of eRx remains fast. So when the horses aren’t running and the pace in your pharmacy quickens, eRx will continue to provide efficiencies for your dispensing.
eRx Script Exchange transfers prescription information between doctors and pharmacies. It is used by more than 20,000 doctors and 4,700 pharmacies every day and transfers more than 90% of the nation’s prescriptions.